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Current Employment Statistics (CES) Technical Notes


Current Employment Statistics by Industry (CES) data reflect jobs by "place of work." It does not include the self-employed, unpaid family workers, and private household employees. Jobs located in the county or the metropolitan area that pay wages and salaries are counted although workers may live outside the area. Jobs are counted regardless of the number of hours worked. Individuals who hold more than one job (i.e. multiple job holders) may be counted more than once. The employment figure is an estimate of the number of jobs in the area (regardless of the place of residence of the workers) rather than a count of jobs held by the residents of the area.

Note: "Total Nonfarm" employment is not directly comparable to the "Employment" which is shown on the "Labor Force" page. See comparing sources of employment data for more information.

Industries are classified according to their North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. See NAICS: Frequently Asked Questions for additional information. A searchable version of the NAICS Manual is available on the Internet from the U.S. Bureau of the Census at


These data are based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey.  The CES survey summarizes monthly employment, hours and earnings data from a sample of approximately 18,000 New York State employers. This survey is also referred to as the establishment, or wage and salary employment survey. The employment statistics represent persons employed full- or part-time in nonagricultural establishments during the payroll period including the 12th of the month.

The estimates are revised in the following month as job information is received from additional employers. Final revisions to the statewide and local area data, called a "Benchmark," are made each March for the previous two years based on payroll tax reports submitted by New York State employers covered by the Unemployment Insurance program to the state.

Effective with the publication of July 2014 employment estimates, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began implementing new sample units on a quarterly basis. Prior to this, new sample units were implemented once a year. Further information is available at:

Caution When Using These Data:

  • Monthly job estimates for areas below the state level typically are not adjusted for seasonal changes in employment. (Note: The one exception to this rule is that BLS publishes seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment data for certain metro areas.) It is important to keep in mind that month-to-month changes may be due to regular seasonal patterns in an industry. Typically, during the winter holiday shopping season retail jobs increase, and during the summer there are more workers in the construction industry. On the other hand, changes may reflect new businesses, expansions, closings, etc. Comparison of monthly changes for the same period in prior years will provide a better understanding of whether the change is seasonal or atypical. Data adjusted for seasonal changes are only available for industry divisions at the state level.
  • Monthly fluctuations in the wage and salary employment data are an essential part of the changes that occur in a dynamic economy of the county or region. It is important to study the data over time to evaluate the strength of the local economy.
  • Wage and salary employment data identify which industries have the largest number of jobs. An industry with a large number of workers may not necessarily be expanding; it may even be downsizing. New and expanding industries may not have large numbers of existing jobs but are a good source for new job opportunities.
  • Annual average data over time tend to be a better indicator of employment trends for the various industries in an area.

Changes to Procedures for producing Current Employment Statistics (CES) State Estimates

With the production of preliminary estimates for March 2011, responsibility for the production of State and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) estimates transitioned from individual State Workforce Agencies to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). State agencies continue to provide the BLS with information on local events that may affect the estimates, such as strikes or large layoffs at businesses not covered by the survey, and to disseminate and analyze the CES estimates for local data users. This change was designed to improve the cost efficiency of the CES program and to reduce the potential for statistical bias in state and area estimates. A portion of the cost savings generated by this change is to be directed towards raising survey response rates in future years, which will decrease the level of statistical error in the CES estimates.

Estimates produced by the BLS at the statewide industry supersector level continue to utilize an improved outlier identification procedure that has been in effect since the production of January 2010 preliminary state CES estimates. Beginning with March 2011 preliminary estimates, this procedure is also used in the estimation of detailed industry statewide estimates and MSA estimates. In addition, at that time the BLS implemented an improved imputation procedure for major survey non-respondents and a procedure to correct for differential response rates within an industry sector. The use of these procedures allows BLS to rely less on individual analyst judgment and more on the use of standard statistical methodology. Statewide and MSA series with smaller sample sizes will continue to be estimated using a small domain model. Introduction of the new estimation procedures may result in more month-to-month variability in the estimates, particularly in smaller metro areas. For further information, see

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